DOUBLE-DECKER buses have been used in Malaysia for a long time, even back in the pre-Merdeka days. With their additional upper deck, they can carry almost double the number of passengers, increasing their transport efficiency.
Today, the double-decker buses in Malaysia are mainly used for inter-city travel rather than urban public transport. One of the companies which produces such buses is Volvo and after introducing the B11RLE 6×2 chassis to the Malaysian bus market, Volvo Buses is now showcasing the first ever fully built Volvo B11RLE 6×2 double deck coach.
This is the first time a fully built B11R Low Entry 6×2 double deck coach is showcased and operated on road in the market since the chassis’ introduction in 2022. The B11R low-entry bus featuring the ALPHA DD12 body by Truckquip, is designed to be the ‘king of the road’, offering maximized safety with a newly integrated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) enhanced with technologies such as Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS), which will provide alerts against falling asleep momentarily or distractions whilst driving.
Prior to deliveries starting, an event jointly organized by Volvo Buses and Truckquip Sdn. Bhd, Volvo’s fully authorized chassis assembly factory in Malaysia, provided guests with a tour around the Shah Alam area on the double-decker bus. The Ride and Drive allowed them to experience the comfort of B11RLE double decker coach. Present at the event were Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Dr. Joachim Bergstrom, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia.
“As the bridge between states and cross border travels, express coaches play an essential and prominent role in the public transportation system in Malaysia. Inter-city coach travel serves areas or cities, which otherwise could be difficult to reach, providing a more flexible and economical alternative for our people. Thus, we are extremely excited to see manufacturers like Volvo working with local body-building partners like Truckquip, coming up with products that are customized and specially designed to meet the local operational needs, and bring to our operators a first-hand experience of ride and drive,” said the minister.
“We believe this will encourage more efforts and investments into the local bus industry and ultimately benefit our passengers by providing a safer, more comfortable and enjoyable journey,“ Mr. Loke added.
According to Mats Nilsson, Vice-President of Volvo Buses Asia Pacific, Malaysia is the only market in Asia offering the Volvo B11RLE. “It is assembled and built here in Malaysia, and specially designed for Malaysia to meet our customers’ expectations, passengers’ requirements, and local operational needs. By offering one specific product model specially designed for one market, it shows our full commitment to the development of public transportation in Malaysia and our strong confidence in the growth of express coaches and premium tour buses in the Malaysian bus market,” he said.
Truckquip (TQ) is a subsidiary of the Tan Chong Group and since 2013, the company has been in the body-building and chassis assembly business which is carried out at its plant at Seri Kembangan, Selangor. The partnership between Volvo Buses and TQ started some 8 years ago with bus chassis assembly for the local market
“We are proud to collaborate on this specially designed for Malaysia double-decker model, the Volvo B11RLE 6×2. It is a true glo-cal approach, a state-of-the-art product with global experience from Volvo, coupled with local body design meeting every need of the local requirements. TQ’s technical team has worked day and night over the past year with Volvo’s body-building support and instructions to come up with this striking, premium double deck coach and we look forward to more such successful collaborations,” said Tan Keng Meng, Executive Vice-President of the Tan Chong Group.